I did a lot of learning this week. 3D printers were one of the devices that I had heard of before I began research for the week. I had a limited understanding of how they work though, and after getting some comments back and discussing the topic with others during the twitter chat, I have revised my thinking some what, and learned some more about the specifics and logistics of using a 3D printer.
In my initial blog post I remarked on how teachers can use 3D printers make manipulatives and tools for students to use in their regular lessons, and that this will help make learning to be a lot more interactive and kinesthetic. And while I still believe this aspect to be a benefit of 3D printing, I no longer think that it should be the main purpose of acquiring a 3D printers, maybe just a secondary use. I think the best benefit a 3D printer can have for students is by giving them the opportunity to create and make somethings in their own. I think using a 3D printer to give students the opportunity to be amateur engineers or designers is the best way students could access this technology.
Some detracting factors of 3D printers, like their high cost, the cost of the printing materials and the time it takes to print objects have caused me to revise my opinions and best uses for teachers. I was really glad to participate in the twitter chat this week, it seemed like a few different people had some good experience with 3D printers and were able to share their experiences, likewise on the blogs. It was great learning from their experience and receiving some well informed feedback.